Corvin Hopkins “Corky” Clark ’55

Corvin Hopkins "Corky" Clark '55Corvin Hopkins “Corky” Clark of Birmingham, AL died on April 26th, 2017. The son of Robert Eugene Clark and Marion Hopkins Clark, Corky was born on May 18th, 1933 in Utica, NY.

Corky attended high school in Harrisburg, PA and Charlotte, NC. He went on to attend Davidson College, graduating with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Business Administration. In his senior year, Corky led the Davidson College Tennis team, in winning both the Southern Conference tournament Singles and Doubles titles.

Following college, he served in the US Army, where he was a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne, stationed at Fort Benning, GA. On May 19th, 1959 he married a fourth generation Floridian, Greta Sims Clark. They proceeded to live in Gainesville, FL; Camp Hill, PA; Allentown, PA and Chattanooga, TN prior to moving to Birmingham, AL in 1981.

Following their move to Birmingham, he was employed by and retired from National Cement Company, where he was Vice-President of Sales.

An accomplished athlete, Corky continued forward with his love for tennis, playing with all of his children, his friends and competitively across the Southeastern United States. During his competitive years, he won numerous State Age Group Singles and Doubles titles. His love for tennis also extended to his volunteer spirit.

He was passionate about bringing the game of tennis to the inner city youth of Birmingham. He was a founding member of BATA (Birmingham Area Tennis Association), and also served for many years on the board of the James Lewis Tennis Scholarship Foundation.

In addition to his love for tennis, Corky was an avid golfer, playing most of his golf at Vestavia Country Club where he was a member for many years. Beyond his love of sport, he was a dedicated volunteer. His service to community included many years as a member of the Rotary Club, where he was named a Paul Harris Scholar.

He was passionate about his interaction and fellowship with international students at UAB. He was instrumental in starting ‘Lets Talk’ at South Highland Presbyterian Church, with the goal of enhancing the conversational English skills of his International Student friends. Countless numbers of his international friendship partners were regulars at his family’s Thanksgiving Dinner.

As a member of South Highland Presbyterian Church for many years, he served as an Elder and on the Board of Directors for both the Child Development Center and Southside Shepherd’s Center.

In his earlier years, he also served as an Elder at three other Presbyterian USA churches. After retiring from their careers, Corky and Greta also strove to live a life of grand adventure.

They were active travelers, accomplishing a longtime goal of setting foot on all 7 Continents, when they touched down on Antarctica.

He is survived by his wife of fifty-eight years, Greta Sims Clark, and their children and grandchildren: his son, Douglas Reynolds Clark and his wife Rhonda, their son Zachary, and step-grandchildren Hilari Sheffield and Joshua Sheffield; his daughter Marion Hopkins Clark Savic and her husband Milan, and their children Alexandria, Peter and David; his son Daniel McMullen Clark and his wife Andria.

He is also survived by his sister, Nancy Gallena and her husband Paul; two nieces, nephew and their nine children.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to either South Highland Presbyterian Church ( or The James Lewis Tennis Scholarship Foundation (

A memorial service for Corky will be held at South Highland Presbyterian Church at 11am on Saturday, April 29th.

Published in The Birmingham News on Apr. 28, 2017

Kemal Fred Samra ’55

Kemal Fred Samra '55Kemal Fred Samra, 83, died Friday, November 4, 2016, after a brief illness.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, November 7, 2016, at St. John’s Church in Florence with burial following in Mount Hope Cemetery, directed by Waters-Powell Funeral Home.

The family will receive friends at St. John’s Fellowship Hall following the burial at Mount Hope.

He was born in Florence, a son of the late Fred E. and Nettie Ateyeh Samra. He graduated from McClenaghan High School in 1951 and from Davidson College in 1955, where he was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity.

After college, he owned and operated Samra’s Shoes in Florence until he retired in 2008.

Mr. Samra was very active in the Florence community and served on the Florence City Council for eight years. One of his proudest accomplishments was casting the deciding vote to build the Florence Civic Center.

He was President of the Florence Chamber of Commerce and later received the first “President’s Award.” His memberships included the Florence Jaycees and Florence Lions Club, and he served as president of both. He was also president of the YMCA.

He was a life-long member of St. John’s Church in Florence, where he served on the Vestry and as Junior and Senior Warden. He was a former Chairman of the Board for All Saints Episcopal Day School. He was also an avid supporter of the revitalization of downtown Florence.

Survivors include his wife, Pinkie Davis Samra of the home; two daughters, Kamille Samra of Columbia and Kathryn Samra of Charlotte, NC; a son, Jason Samra (fiancé, Lauren Colebank) of Rock Hill; two nieces, Laura Baroody Thrush and Lisa Baroody Culpepper; a nephew, Alan Baroody; and four-legged best friend, Lilly.

He was predeceased by a sister, Ramona Samra Baroody.

Memorials may be made to St. John’s Church, 252 S. Dargan St., Florence, SC 29506; or to the charity of one’s choice.


Eugene Baughman Davis ’55

Eugene Baughman Davis '55The Reverend Doctor Eugene Baughman Davis, 83, passed away on Monday, October 31, 2016 at the Village on Campbell in Burgaw, N.C. Born on July 13, 1933 in Mt.Olive, NC, he was the youngest son of the late Samuel Moseley Davis and Grace Lynch Davis.

A lifelong scouting and sports enthusiast, as a young man, Gene was an Eagle Scout with bronze and silver palms, the captain of his high school football and basketball teams, and played football in college.

He was a graduate of Davidson College, Davidson, NC; Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, VA, California Graduate School of Theology, Los Angeles, CA; and Pepperdine University, Los Angeles, CA.

He was ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1957 and began his ministry at Grove Presbyterian Church in Kenansville, NC, and served at Hallsville Presbyterian Church.

He followed his calling and entered the US Navy as a Chaplain in 1959 and served his country for 23 years. For his extraordinary service in Vietnam with the Third Marine Division in 1966 and 1967 he was awarded the Legion of Merit. This was the first awarding of this exceptional medal to a Navy Chaplain serving with Marines on a battalion level in the preceding three wars.

Early in his military career he was the Chaplain on a ship which was attacked by pirates on the high seas. He was instrumental in negotiating with the pirates to prevent an international incident.

He served as Chaplain for a group of ships that participated in a South Atlantic Friendship tour. While in South Africa he opened the first Parliament of South Africa with prayer.

After retiring from the Navy in 1983 he served as interim pastor at several Presbyterian churches in the area.

He is survived by his wife of almost 53 years, Betty Starling Davis; his daughter, Grace Davis Sturm and husband, William Mitch Sturm; two sons, Eugene B. Davis, Jr and David Henderson Davis; six grandchildren, Davis Rothwell Sturm, Starling Allison Sturm, Spencer Moseley Davis, Sophie Catherine Davis, Chloe Elizabeth Davis, and Andrew Sampson Davis; and his brother in law and sister in law, John N. Starling, Jr. and Tresa Hudson Starling.

He was preceded in death by his two beloved brothers, Samuel Moseley Davis, Jr and William Lynch Davis.

The funeral service was held at First Presbyterian Church, Jacksonville, NC on Friday, November 4, 2016 at 11:00 AM with burial following the service at the Starling Family Cemetery (Queen’s Creek Methodist Church Cemetery) in Hubert, NC.

Visitation was held at Jones Funeral Home in Jacksonville on Thursday night from 6-8 p.m.

Robert Calvin Brown ’55

Robert Calvin Brown '55Robert Calvin Brown, M.D., 83, died peacefully on October 24, 2016.

Robert “Bob” Brown was born January 7, 1933 in Statesville, NC, to the late Pauline White and C.B. “Sam” Brown. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Charles and Hal Brown.

Bob graduated from Scotts High School in Iredell County, attended Davidson College and then graduated from Erskine College in 1955. He graduated from UNC School of Medicine in 1959 followed by a residency at UNC in Pathology.

Bob served at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology at Walter Reed in Washington, DC, until 1966. He conducted research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, TN.

He returned to UNC School of Medicine where he was an Associate Professor of Pathology until 1974, and then he was appointed an Adjunct Associate Professor.

He practiced pathology and was Director of Laboratories at Rutherford Hospital for 10 years. He was awarded a grant which enabled him to manage a private laboratory for the purpose of cancer research. He practiced at Humana Hospital in Greensboro, NC, until he retired in 1987.

After retirement he served on the Board of Counselors at Erskine College. Bob and his wife, Mary, resided in Chapel Hill and Statesville. He was a member of University Presbyterian Church in Chapel Hill. Bob and Mary enjoyed traveling.

He was passionate about his pathology practice and research and the care of his patients. Bob remained a farmer at heart and enjoyed spending time at the family farm in Statesville. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend and a wonderful role model.

Bob is remembered for his smile, sense of humor, playing games and love for chocolate. He loved the family gatherings at the beach, mountains and lake. He was an artist, a craftsman, and avid Tarheel fan.

Bob is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Mary Frances Vaughn Brown, and their three children, Anne Brown Barry (John) of Charlotte, NC, Cyndy Brown Parr (David) of Matthews, NC, and Peter Bradford Brown (Pam) of Raleigh, NC.

He adored his eight grandchildren: Elizabeth Coley Barry, Hannah Bradford Barry, John Marion Barry, Jr., Sarah Brown Barry, Lindsey Parr Bucci (Doug), Ashley Parr Abashian (Mike), Anna Frances Parr and Isabella Grace Brown.

The family celebrated Bob’s life with a private family gathering on the evening of October 24.

Prior to his death Bob gifted his body to the UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine Body Donation Program for the purpose of medical study and research.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Charlotte Neuroscience Foundation (which supports the Memory Center Charlotte), 300 Billingsley Rd., Suite 108, Charlotte, NC 28211 or to The Medical Foundation of NC, 880 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill, NC 27514 with the memo Robert Brown, MD – Department of Pathology for Cancer Research.

Copyright (c) 2016 The Charlotte Observer

James Randolph Helms ’55

James “Jim” Randolph Helms James Randolph Helms “Jim”, age 82, of Knoxville, Tennessee, formerly of Bristol, Virginia, passed away on Friday, October 21, 2016. He was born in Charleston, West Virginia on January 2, 1934. Jim joined the United States Air Force in 1953 and was stationed in Benghazi.

After his service he then attended the University of Tennessee where he graduated in 1959 with a Bachelor’s in Business. He married the love of his life, Juanita and they settled in Bristol, Virginia, where he was president of his own company, Helms Brokerage Company for over thirty years. Never one to stay idle he later became a realtor and sold property in Florida. Jim loved to jog and even ran in the Boston Marathon. He was an Elder and Deacon at Central Presbyterian Church where he attended for many years.

Jim was preceded in death by parents, Jacob Randolph and Martha Bell Gray Helms; and son, James Joseph Helms. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Juanita Helms; children, Grace Reed and Jake Helms; grandchildren, Lauren, Jake, Luke, and Heather; great grandchildren, Lena and Maya; sister, Grace Hagedorn; brother, Matt Helms; nieces, Martha, Katherine, and Margaret; great niece, Taylor, and many other family members. Jim will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.